Choir headed to Carnegie

A Penticton choir has been selected to perform at Carnegie Hall in New York City later this year after being discovered on YouTube.

Director of the Redeemer Lutheran Church Choir, Shayla Sipila Willmot, says she has been filming and uploading their Sunday performances for years.

Distinguished Concerts International stumbled across a recording of a piece by composer Joseph Martin, and was impressed enough to extend an invite to perform Martin’s The Winter Rose at historic Carnegie Hall.

“We auditioned without knowing it,” Willmot said with a laugh. “I’ve been putting our choir out there for years… I never dreamed that anything like this would happen, and nor did anyone in the choir.”

Willmot explained that fundraising is underway for the five-day trip in November.

Eighteen people from the Penticton choir will join an estimated 10-15 other choir groups from around the globe for the performance. 

"We are very proud and honoured to be ambassadors for Penticton and the Okanagan Valley. The only choir in B.C. that's been invited to go."

Willmot says they will be performing with a full orchestra, led by Joseph Martin himself.

“You need a big group of a lot of good singers, and I just happen to be very proud of my choir… we’ve come a long way baby.”

A GoFundMe for the trip has been set up online.

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